the upside of sick

Being home sick means I get to catch up on my huge pile of want-to-see movies, and flesh out in my head the kind of films I want to make and don't want to make. And whether shite or brilliant, I do always learn something about filmmaking, if only how not to do it.

I tend to give rom coms a chance because there is a handful of movies from that category that has surprised me very pleasantly. But this time I wasn't lucky with the rom coms. One I had to shut down after 15 excruciating minutes (I'm not even going to tell you what it was it's that embarrassingly dumb). But that happens and you have to cut your losses and turn them off before your brain shrivels up. And the other one, The Decoy Bride, I probably would have turned off had it not been for Kelly Macdonald who is always a pleasure to watch. But the writing was not up to par, neither was the directing, and, sadly, David Tennant who I usually love apparently phoned it in that day.

But I've been quite lucky in my other picks this past week. I've not picked a single fantasy or sci fi movie, I guess because I usually watch those with Finn Porter. Instead I went straight for those lovely slightly-indie-but-with-a-reasonably-known-cast films that she rarely goes for.

I watched the Four-Faced Liar (very indie), One Day (a lot more Hollywood), Last Night, and Like Crazy. The only one veering from the theme I inadvertently had going on there was The Descendants, which was oddly also the movie I least liked. I'd sum it up as Alexander Payne doing the same thing he did years ago in About Schmidt, with different actors and in a different landscape. Otherwise his imagery remains completely unchanged which I see as a lack of development. Sure, it's great to have a trademark as an artist but you'd want to develop your style further, no?

But the other films have all touched me in some way, in ways pertaining to relationships. The Four-Faced Liar and Last Night both deal with betrayal and lies - but in completely different way. One is loud and crazy and funny in between the drama while the other has a quiet intensity that I found riveting.

Like Crazy has a bit of both; it's quirky and odd in this indie kind of way that everyone finds adorable (think Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist), but can also be quiet and intense and in those quiet moments excelling in music choice and cinematography. One Day is maybe a bit heavy on the drama but its very distinct style of telling the story makes up for that from a learning perspective, and I'd be lying if I said the romance didn't get to me.

I find myself drawn to these perceptive, grown-up films that deal with grown up relationships and their issues, and don't claim to have the answers; Movies that end with an intake of breath instead of an exhale. When I say I don't particularly like happy endings in movies I don't mean I like bad endings. Life generally come with neither, not that distinctly in any way. I like to be kept guessing, because that's what's inspiring.

I regard it as such a privilege when I get to watch a film that really speaks to something inside of me and especially Last Night and Like Crazy have done exactly that. Three hours very well spent, and I am grateful for that.

Now, what next? I'm almost scared I could break this lucky streak of movie choices.

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